“The Effort Effect”


If you manage any people or if you are a parent (which is a form of managing people), drop everything and read The Effort Effect. This is an article about Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck. It examines her thirty-year study of why some some people excel and others don’t. (Hint: the answer is not “God-given talent.”)

The article postulates that people have two kinds of mindsets: growth or fixed. People with the growth mindset view life as a series of challenges and opportunities for improving. People with a fixed mindset believe that they are “set” as either good or bad. The issue is that the good ones believe they don’t have to work hard, and the bad ones believe that working hard won’t change anything.

She recently released a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. I have not yet read it, but I ordered it as soon as I read this article. I can’t imagine not liking it.

To provide a further taste of the article and her work, here is a sidebar from the article called “What Do We Tell the Kids?” I took the liberty of adding

[employee] to show the relevance of this article to business.

You have a bright child [employee], and you want her to succeed. You should tell her how smart she is, right?

That’s what 85 percent of the parents Dweck surveyed said. Her research on fifth graders shows otherwise. Labels, even though positive, can be harmful. They may instill a fixed mind-set and all the baggage that goes with it, from performance anxiety to a tendency to give up quickly. Well-meaning words can sap children’s [employee’s] motivation and enjoyment of learning and undermine their performance. While Dweck’s study focused on intelligence praise, she says her conclusions hold true for all talents and abilities.

Here are Dweck’s tips from Mindset:

  • Listen to what you say to your kids [employees], with an ear toward the messages you’re sending about mind-set.

  • Instead of praising children’s [employee’s] intelligence or talent, focus on the processes they used.

    • Example: “That homework was so long and involved. I really admire the way you concentrated and finished it.”

    • Example: “That picture has so many beautiful colors. Tell me about them.”

    • Example: “You put so much thought into that essay. It really makes me think about Shakespeare in a new way.”

  • When your child [employee] messes up, give constructive criticism—feedback that helps the child [employee] understand how to fix the problem, rather than labeling or excusing the child.

  • Pay attention to the goals you set for your children [employees]; having innate talent is not a goal, but expanding skills and knowledge is.

  • Don’t worry about praising your children [employees] for their inherent goodness, though. It’s important for children [employees] to learn they’re basically good and that their parents love them unconditionally, Dweck says. “The problem arises when parents praise children [employees] in a way that makes them feel that they’re good and love-worthy only when they behave in particular ways that please the parents.”

Here’s some food for thought: perhaps this explains the inexorable march toward mediocrity of many (temporarily) great companies. Let’s say a startup is hot. It ships something great, and it achieves success. Thus, it’s able to attract the best, brightest, and most talented. These people have been told they’re the best since childhood. Indeed, being hired by the hot company is “proof” that they are the A and A+ players; in fact, the company is so hot that it can out-recruit Google and Microsoft.

Unfortunately, they develop a fixed mindset that they’re the most talented, and they think that continued success is a right. Problems arise because pure talent only works as long as the going is easy. Furthermore, they don’t take risks because failure would harm their image of being the best, brightest, and most talented. When they do fail, they deny it or attribute it to anything but their shortcomings.

And this is the beginning of the end.

Dr. Moira Gunn of TechNation interviewed Dr. Dweck on 3/14/06. Thanks to TomL for pointing this out.

“How Not to Talk to Your Kids” by Po Bronson is another interesting read. Thanks to Tim Ludwig for this.

By |2016-10-24T14:21:53+00:00March 14th, 2007|Categories: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Management|65 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. TomL March 14, 2007 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    There is a good interview of Dr. Carol Dweck by Dr. Moira Gunn available on ITConversations:

  2. Roger Anderson March 14, 2007 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    As soon as I started reading I thought about the story that Gladwell tells in “Blink” about the two groups of minority university students that take the same test after different “framing” preparation. One group has a discussion about what obstacles they had to overcome. How hard their life has been how lucky they are to be where they are. The other group discusses the fact that they must be very intelligent and hardworking to be at the school. The second group did significantly better. (I was not surprised to see Gladwell quoted in the story.)
    It also reminded me of an article in the local paper discussing the different approach to Spring Training by Dodger pitchers Brad Penny and Derek Lowe. Lowe says he tries to win every game; to make the team each year, to prove he belongs. Penny does not worry about wins he worries about improving his pitching. He says the wins will come in the regular season.
    I think the analogies to business people are easily applied. Hot shots who feel they have to prove themselves with every sentence and action are not learning. Hard workers who try and try are learning. The later can be expensive in the short-term. The former have to hit homeruns or quit.
    Nice article. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. How to start a clothing line from scratch March 14, 2007 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    just from reading that small bit…I was very excited and interested to read what else she has to say…hope its not expensive. I’m hitting up amazon as I type…lol

  4. miren March 14, 2007 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I feel is good, not the best of a 5 star “idea”. I hope to be a good growth mind set person. Learning to be !

  5. Tobie Langel March 15, 2007 at 12:10 am - Reply

    I just finished reading the article you quote. It’s absolutely brilliant and mind-opening.

  6. JohnN March 15, 2007 at 3:03 am - Reply

    I think I have personally suffered from this kind of thinking, I have can consistently through my life done well one year and not so good the second then good the third and so on and so on. Success breeds complacency and many successful people suffer from it. I think when people become successful it is because of an idea or goal they want to achieve, then when they are successful it is the fear of failure that motivates them. IMHO fear can never be a good motivator.

  7. Johnnie Moore's Weblog March 15, 2007 at 5:47 am - Reply

    Identity or behaviour?

    Guy Kawasaki pointed me to this useful article about the research of Carol Dweck. Guy’s summary is terrific and I won’t repeat it. The very short version is this: If someone thinks their ability is just down to their innate…

  8. Marvn March 15, 2007 at 6:51 am - Reply

    Really good post. This is going to really make me think and maybe change the way I approach the youth I work with you. Thank you for bring this to peoples attention.

  9. Tim Ludwig March 15, 2007 at 7:49 am - Reply

    These conclusions are well supported by research into child psychology and development going back many years. More recently, Po Bronson also wrote an excellent cover story for New York Magazine entitled How Not to Talk to Your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise that essentially offers the same conclusions and some very interesting anecdotes.
    Once you read about the strategies to put these theories into action, it just seems like common sense — but I think that’s the power of the ideas!

  10. Allen March 15, 2007 at 9:56 am - Reply

    I will be attempting to use these techniques while coaching my youth hockey team. Thank you for the information. I cannot wait to read her book.

  11. The CanningBranch March 15, 2007 at 10:01 am - Reply

    The Effort Effect

    Reading How to Change the World today (Guy Kawasakis blog), I ran across the article explaining the work of Carol Dweck. The Effort Effect is an excellent article that describes why some people no longer apply themselves to certain tasks once t…

  12. The YouBlog March 15, 2007 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Is Success Simple or Hard?

    MAN, SOMETHING IS IN THE AIR, and it’s all about how our mindset affects our results. Consider these posts in today’s feed reader: First, Guy Kawasaki highlights the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck and her book, “Mindset: The New

  13. jon March 15, 2007 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I completely agree with the insight presented here. Even if you are smart, at some point you need to realize that the big force driving results is a hard and committed work ethics. That thirty-year study will surely prove right what my late grandpa used to repeat me again and again: Work hard. Work Harder. That’s all it matters!
    Guy, thank you very much for bringing up this article.

  14. Bil Corry March 15, 2007 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Reminds me of the book “Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes” by Alfie Kohn.
    Thanks for the blog.

  15. Valeria Maltoni March 15, 2007 at 11:57 am - Reply

    I read her book and know you will enjoy it. Especially some of the stories.

  16. Janak Joshi March 15, 2007 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    This establishes something that I started noticing in the past few years where our society (especially in the US) has started to recognize everyone as “special” and “outstanding” and an “over-achiever”.
    As children, if no one looses and no one wins (this starts from little league games) and everyone is talented and everyone is extra-ordinary – the purpose of achievement is lost and so is the motivation to be the best. I know that no matter what I do – I will be rewarded. At some point, you truely believe in this philosophy and the moment you face failure, you are devastated (The word “Prozac Nation” comes to mind). I see so many teenagers and young adults on anti-depressants and anxiety drugs. One of the reasons I have found out is because of the attitude of praising kids irrespective of how they perform.
    Even the schools practice this to no end. It is almost reached a point of bizarreness (is that even a word) where a 13 year old would really suck at playing baskeT ball but his coach cannot tell him: get better – you suck and if not – you will be thrown out of the game.
    Everyone has to be politically right and correct about everything and anything. Are we raising a bunch of wussies or do we want to continue to be a nation of world-class entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurs face failures more than anything else in this world and this is not a “virtue” that is currently accepted or being taught in our schools and colleges.
    Anyone been to China or India recently – you will know what I mean! Imagine 10-15 years from now when we will be competition against Indian & Chinese kids who are taught to accept reality and truely understanding the meaning behind competition and ingenuity – what will happen to the little leaguers then ……

  17. Paulo March 15, 2007 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Excellent article and, most importantly, mind-bending ideas. Truly inspiring, both on how you get along with others and even more so, I think, on how you get along with yourself!
    Thanks Guy, for bringing this up!

  18. Leading Questions March 15, 2007 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    What’s Your Mindset? Fixed or Growth

    You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone! True words from the Herb Brooks character in the great hockey movie, Miracle. This is the truth behind Carol Dweck’s conclusion that people are either growth oriented or fixed focused.

  19. Steve Donie March 15, 2007 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    My kids go to a Montessori School and they teach us to give this kind of specific praise. There is actually a whole book called “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Faber & Mazlish. Great stuff for communicating with anyone – employees, kids, spouses…

  20. SorenG March 15, 2007 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Awesome Guy. Great stuff. I share your enthusiasm. I have a kid, now I just need to go find some employees :-). The relationship between identity and risk is fascinating.
    I must say though that these two lines confused me a bit, and seemed to contradict.
    “Don’t worry about praising your children [employees] for their inherent goodness, though. It’s important for children [employees] to learn they’re basically good and that their parents love them unconditionally, Dweck says.”
    Don’t worry about acknowledging your children’s inherent goodness, but make sure they learn they are basically good and you love them unconditionally. Huh?

  21. Larry C March 15, 2007 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    “It’s important for children [employees] to learn they’re basically good and that their parents love them unconditionally, Dweck says. “The problem arises when parents praise children [employees] in a way that makes them feel that they’re good and love-worthy only when they behave in particular ways that please the parents.”
    My parents had their own trick: Unlike many oriental parents, I was taught not to ace every exams when I was a kid. This way there will always be room for improvement. So no matter what marks I got, I always feel loved and I know I could always do better next time. And it worked =)

  22. Jesse Boyes March 16, 2007 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Definitely true! James Brown never got anywhere calling himself “the most naturally talented man in show business.” 😉

  23. Cathy March 16, 2007 at 7:53 am - Reply

    I had read something similar in the New Yorker and while I’ve already been telling my daughter that she needs to study and practice to get better (as well as the fact that she is smart) I’ve ramped it up a bit and she is indeed trying harder.
    I think that this theory explains a lot about why I do the things I do as well. Hopefully it’s not too late to change!

  24. Mike March 16, 2007 at 9:16 am - Reply

    David Shenk is writing a book on geniuses. He’s posting his thoughts and articles on his blog while he assembles his book. Your post totally jives with what I’ve been reading over there:

  25. stubsy March 16, 2007 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I’d like to think I was of the growth mindset but just lately its seems like everything I do is doomed to fail.
    No matter how much effort I put in.

  26. Niall O'Driscoll March 16, 2007 at 10:32 am - Reply

    The premise of this book relates directly to an article written by Alfie Kohn (http://www.alfiekohn.org/parenting/gj.htm) back in 2001. He has advocated this kind of approach in parenting for a long time. If you’re a parent, and haven’t read his stuff, I highly recommend it.

  27. iain March 16, 2007 at 11:04 am - Reply

    * very cool … this reads like Bob Rotella’s “golf is not a game of perfect” … focussing on the score is a sure way to fail … focussing on the process is the way to a good score.

  28. Ian Harris March 16, 2007 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting the article Guy. I really enjoyed reading it.
    I learned guitar that way. I wanted to be naturally talented like my friends. But I wasn’t! I nearly gave up. Instead, I stuck at it for years. Now I’m perfectly good because I practised so hard. It’s taken me longer maybe but I got further.
    I guess the real trick is: finding the right amount of praise. The article says, if you don’t praise, people become demotivated and stop. Too much praise and they stop thinking they have to try.
    Again: great article! Your site always turns up gems, Guy.

  29. Martin Edic March 16, 2007 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Tiger Woods comes to mind. Although obviously talented, he also works harder than anyone else and always talks about how much more he has to learn. In spite of frequently being referred to as one of the handful of top athletes in the world, he sees himself as an unfinished project.
    I also think about who he hangs out with: Gretzky, Jordan, Barkley…do you see a pattern?
    BTW, like an earlier commenter, I did not believe (and still don’t) that I had musical talent yet I really wanted to play bass in a rock band. I got a bass and found some similar people and ended up doing pretty well. This article made me think how much I would have missed if I’d listened to that talent filter…

  30. nemrut March 16, 2007 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I don’t know Guy, but it seems to me all this emphasis on praise in the U.S. is over-rated. It reminds me a lot of the radio show about the ‘Lake Wobegone’ effect where everyone is smart, beautiful and above avg.
    Coming from an Asian household, I rarely if ever received praise while growing up. If anything, i was often reminded of how much i could improve. This instilled a strong drive to work hard, take nothing for granted and always look push the boundaries. This is similar to others i know with the same background.
    Regardless of how you slice/dice it, focusing on praise leads to a sense of entitlement, and often, dissappointment when not enought is received. I think Americans, as a whole, would do much better in the global marketplace without the ego-stroking ethos so prevalent in our society.

  31. Rishabh R. Dassani March 16, 2007 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Its amazing how most of the stuff we learn is so counter-intuitive, and sometimes we have to simply un-learn to learn.

  32. Crossroads Dispatches March 16, 2007 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    when you flow with the go, greatness cannot elude you

    When you flow with the go, greatness cannot elude you. – snippet of my weekly horoscope as found tucked in the tin tip jar at Caffea, on the edge of the 9th Ward, New Orleans, and currently my favorite cafe

  33. Patrick March 16, 2007 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I kind of see where the article is going and can see why it might work, but what is with the categorization of employees being akin to children?
    Treating them like children is what gives them permission to act like children.I thought you guys were management? What gives?

  34. Syven March 17, 2007 at 1:46 am - Reply

    We can all be better parents, we can all become better leaders. That is the cool thing about a growth mindset. The fixed mindset reminds me of the robot in a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and it is here I can congratulate the best mothers out there, for they are prime examples of have the kind of patience and love that never gives up on fixed mindsets.
    Even great leaders cannot mentor a fixed mindset the way a great mother can. We don’t need to read great leadership stories or books when there is plenty of learning opportunities in the home, but then again what do I know about that, when one has a growth mindset, the joy of it is contained in the discovery process.

  35. Shefaly March 17, 2007 at 4:22 am - Reply

    I have to agree with Nemrut as well as a few points made in the post.
    When I got a full scholarship to Cambridge, where India’s 1st Prime Minister studied too, my father said ‘um, ok’. The reason? I have been told since my childhood – and shown consistently – that I am bright. That means higher achievements are expected of me, and are not beyond that burden that comes with a better-than-average ‘God-given talent’.
    Now while such clear expectations can be stated by parents, managers many find it harder to do in a PC environment which somehow raises expectations of entitlement and makes people believe that all must have prizes… Did you, for instance, know that using words such as ‘dynamic’, ‘energetic’ etc in job descriptions is banned in the UK under age discrimination regulations?
    Achievement is not for wimps, but equally racing achievers at home (or managing them at work) is not for wimps either. Giving feedback – esp negative while keeping it specific and actionable and constructive – takes a lot of courage and intelligence.
    Intriguing book though, worth a try, in paperback at least.

  36. liquid06 March 17, 2007 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Yes, I remember that Blink story too Roger, great connection.

    Pay attention to the goals you set for your children [employees]; having innate talent is not a goal, but expanding skills and knowledge is.

    I really like this particular point. It’s something that a lot of people over me need to learn. In the place where I work, many times I have to design for ego. Including the sentence that a board member came up with in the front of the booklet in the center is always important. People watch our TV station mostly to see themselves, so we have to give the important administrators quite a bit of airtime.
    The other thing that really bothers me about my workplace is the lack of thirst for knowledge. If something breaks in the control room “Well, I guess we should call the engineer.” I go in there and mess around with it for twenty or thirty minutes and “Oh! You fixed it! You’re so smart.” It’s as simple as doing some online research to figure out how to fix the problem, but more often than not, my supervisors just don’t want to touch it! They want to leave anything they would have to spend effort learning about to somebody else and quite frankly, that makes me sad. People have said before that I work hard for our department, and I do, but they don’t know that the REASON I work hard is because I want to learn more, not because I want praise.
    The praise I am given at work isn’t helpful, things like “no” as feedback on a design instead of suggestions to make it better, “you’re so artistic” as a reaction to a layout. None of those things help me grow and improve as a designer or as a learner.
    Thanks so much for posting this article!

  37. Bob Monsour March 17, 2007 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    The headmaster at my son’s school has been preaching this for some time. See http://www.princetonacademy.org/weblogs/heads-journal/archives/001175.html

  38. evden eve nakliyat March 17, 2007 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    very very nice infomation thanks really….

  39. Dennis March 17, 2007 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    So, Carol Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success) has now postulated a new theory about success. Surprise, surprise, the ‘positive mental attitude’ (Dale Carnegie + million others) is apparently not sufficient.
    She contends that a fixed mindset is actually negative, because, even if you believe you are talented or that you are a star, that this mindset limits your growth and achievement. On the other hand, a ‘growth’ mindset allows you to learn, grow and improve.
    Dweck postulates that “learning goals” inspire a different chain of thoughts and behaviours than “performance goals.”
    [Private thought 1: Soon, everyone will agree with my thoughts, which were originally quite contrarian.
    I generally use the term ‘process’ goals and ‘output’ goals to distinguish between types of goals. One can possibly argue that process goals are not really goals, but let’s side aside semantics for the moment.
    Dweck’s findings are a spin on ‘attribution theory’ if you are that way inclined. In simple terms, success and failure is determined (or least influenced) by the excuses you come up with when confronted with your own success or failure. (You know how some people believe success is explained by other people’s lucky, but their own talents?)
    I said it before, but it is worth repeating: A positive attitude only makes opportunities glow in the dark. True success comes from actually tackling those opportunities, not from having any specific attitude. To be successful, you only need a 51% strike rate.

  40. amit March 18, 2007 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Thanks for the article . I really enjoyed reading it.

  41. Ian March 18, 2007 at 3:03 am - Reply

    This has been said a lot before, but the world could certainly use another book such as this one. In my part of the world, people are still pessimistic on what lies in their future. Sometimes I wonder if this is what hinders most people to become entrepreneurs. For one thing, my classmates laugh at my idea of building my own business. My family never had a business before, so I was not influenced by them, so my classmates wonder where I get my crazy ideas from. They’re good friends though, so I just take their comments as healthy criticisms of my ideas. 😀

  42. lee March 18, 2007 at 6:47 am - Reply

    It all goes back to what Thomas Edison said: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

  43. PraDHA March 18, 2007 at 10:08 am - Reply

    After reading your article about the new book ” Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, I go to some biggest bookstore in my town…
    It’s too bad, can’t find one.

  44. Eva Lang March 18, 2007 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    You might find John Maxwells’ new book “Talent is Never Enough” interesting as well. It mines a similar vein.

  45. Scott Jones March 18, 2007 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    It seems like one of the big challenges is getting the right balance between confidence and capability. Striving is admirable, but isn’t enough if you don’t have the necessary toolset. Over-confidence (fixed+good) results in squandered talent. (I wonder if fixed people have internal confidence or care less about external opinions in driving their choices.)
    The book would be pointless if a fixed mindset is “unfixable”, so I’d guess that there is a process for “fixed” people to become more “growth” oriented.

  46. Thomas Jensen March 19, 2007 at 6:40 am - Reply

    This article touches on the very old Catch-22 that business leaders want their employees to reach their potential – but they only want this potential to be harnessed for the exclusive benefit of the company. This relies on employees being their best, perhaps without realising it. Of course, if they truly realise their worth they will be off in no time – possibly setting up a rival company.
    I can see no real solution to this. Perhaps it is not a problem after all. It is actually a good sign for the economy in general when employees get frustrated with their lot in life, and set up a new business on their own. Sometimes when a company is struggling to find the right employees, it can signal that the local economy is in a strong position – there are too many people out their running their own show, and it is taking more and more to convince them they should be working for somebody else’s baby.
    The only answer for business owners is to really make their workplace an enjoyable place to be. Be a fun company to work for. It makes all the difference.

  47. Andre Marquis March 19, 2007 at 8:42 am - Reply

    John Wooden, the UCLA basketball coach who lead his teams to an incredible 10 National Championships in 12 years, gave a great talk at TED a few years ago. I thoroughly recommend his book, “My Personal Best” which talks a lot about his philosophy that each person must achieve his “Personal Best” regardless of his talent. If you put in the focus and work to be prepared for the game you’re a winner even if you “lose.” That’s a great lesson for kids and adults no matter what the topic: sports, business, school, music, …. It’s the foundation of a coaching philosophy that anticipates and extends research like Dr. Dweck’s.

  48. larry chiang March 19, 2007 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Pat Reiley talks about the 1% solution and keeping a journal of his players progress. I am going to check out her book asap

  49. Victor Agreda Jr March 19, 2007 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Heh, my wife and I were watching ABC talk about that video/book “The Secret.” There’s no secret! It’s exactly what you and Dweck are talking about– you can either live life or let it live you.
    We have a friend who is of the fixed mindset. Her husband is worse. We value their friendship, and try to help (my wife went over to help her clean her house tonight even), but there’s only so much we can do. They have a “fixed” view. They are on a lot of government assitance, but don’t feel they will ever get out. The choices they make, time and time again, are too easy, too palliative. They really won’t get ahead on the road they are on!
    At our house, we have a saying: “just decide to be happy.” It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. And it works. While we had our 2 kids, during that 3-year period, I went through several jobs. It was unsettling, but each loss was an opportunity for a step up. I grabbed those opportunities, and I’m richer (figuratively and literally) for it.
    Great book suggestion Guy, thanks!

  50. Martin Haworth March 20, 2007 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    And as I work quite a bit with mothers who, for one reason or another have underachieved, I often help them focus on the management capabilities they have to show to get the best from their children (as well as managing a busy household).
    When they get that into perspective, its amazing how quickly they realize that they have management and leadership skills they didn’t appreciate (though often I saw an opportunity for them :-)).

  51. Mou March 20, 2007 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    I had read about FAE in Tipping point, good to get more information on it as well as the other concepts. I think even being aware of the fixed mindset can possibly help shift to growth (if one can recognize it and want to change) or give managers a different away to approach issues where this is relevant.
    Syven – It is interesting that you mentioned the depressed robot (good analogy), I just saw that movie the other day, after having read the book long back.

  52. Jeff Chavez March 22, 2007 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Thanks, Guy, for pointing me to this article. With three kids (13,10,7)…this was very timely for us. Not to mention a bunch of employees…applies on many levels. I’ve ordered the book. Great post!

  53. Crashpodel's Crap March 23, 2007 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    I loveSynchronicity

    Synchoronicity is the temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events.
    In my understanding (admittedly I am using the definition loosely): Something happens. Then something else happens which reminds you of that earlier occurence eith…

  54. mod*mom March 25, 2007 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    i’m so glad i found your (insert praise)blog!
    my 3 yr old attends, Stanford University Psychology Department laboratory nursery school. i’m going to read this + discuss it with her teachers. there are 5 teachers per classroom (with master’s degrees)+ they are very attentive . i’m going to link this post on my mod*mom blog

  55. Incentive Intelligence March 26, 2007 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Effort VS Ability

    A new twist on the best way to get the most out of people comes in the March/April issue of Standford Magazine in an article entitled The Effort Effect summarizing the work of Carol Dwek and her new book Mind Set – The New Psychology of Success. I orig…

  56. Aris Gardelis March 27, 2007 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    it reminds me a song witch said “hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson, look right through me…”. i am happy to see people trying to find ways to approach and understand humans with advanced perception. i live for the day that these humans will rule the world and smart people will fall from their shiny throne…

  57. Brian March 29, 2007 at 3:47 am - Reply

    This is really interesting stuff. As a parent who always tells his daughters how smart they are, I have a lot to learn. I’ve found in my own life that when I set performance goals I may hit them, but I don’t learn as much as when I just focus on the process and improving continually.

  58. Rob Crawford March 30, 2007 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Is there a more important insight EVER in the history of parenting and teaching? Perhaps not. I wrote some reflections on Dweck’s study at my blog back in February: http://crawdaddycove.com/2007/02/17/praising-effort-vs-praising-ability/

  59. Hans Suter April 2, 2007 at 8:46 am - Reply

    I’m depressed after having read all this conformist comments

  60. Leading Questions April 16, 2007 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    The psychology of openness

    Hugh McLeod has picked up a gig to blog about Microsoft. He makes an interesting point about open-source and its value to shareholders and CEOs. Seth Godin challenges the thought with the comment:Almost no new idea meets the needs of

  61. Beneath the Peak May 2, 2007 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    The importance of effort

    Po Bronson (of What Should I do With My Life fame) wrote an interesting article on psychologist Carol Dwecks research into praise and motivation.
    In a nutshell, Dweck found that if you praise people for their innate intelligence, when they encou…

  62. Maciej Bliziński May 20, 2007 at 7:12 am - Reply


    When in front of a new task, do you believe that you “have” it and you only need to use or show it? Or do you believe that its the matter of effort you put into it?

  63. Adam September 29, 2007 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    I bought and read this book and it has really helped me improve myself and my approach to entrepreneurship. Mostly I am more confident about what I’m doing because I know that it’s not about proving that I am capable but really it’s about becoming capable!
    I started a blog based on this Mindset concept: growth.weebly.com

  64. mahruz September 30, 2007 at 10:07 am - Reply

    u’re really ammazing to me .i love u n appreciate u as a friend n hope u succed at every situation in ur life
    i’m very fond of reading such hopefull texts

  65. Office furniture desk. January 22, 2008 at 6:12 pm - Reply

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